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Steve Lavin's staff for St. John's, other NY-Area coaching news

(Photo from Tuscon-Citizen)

In St. John's-related news:

Mike Dunlap with Carmelo AnthonyStarSteve Lavin's staff at St. John's is filling out. After hiring the well-connected Tony Chiles from Drexel as an assistant coach, Johnny Jungle reports that Mike Dunlap is set to come on board as an assistant coach, likely focusing on scheme and preparation. The hiring is not official, but looks promising.

Dunlap is a former national championship winner on the Division II level with Metro State. He also has some experience in the pros with the Denver Nuggets, and in college with the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks.

With the Ducks, Mike Dunlap may not have had as much control to change things as some might have thought when he was hired away from an interim coach stint at Arizona that resulted in a Sweet Sixteen run.

More on Dunlap from the New York Times. And look at some practice and clinic notes (pdf) from Metro State. And some reporting on his practices (print version as well) with Oregon from the Eugene Register-Guard.

Suffice to say, he comes with a great reputation.

More St. John's coaching news, below the fold.

StarAlso coming to St. John's is Steve Lavin's former player, Rico Hines. Since graduating in 2002, Hines has worked as a trainer, most notably with the Golden State Warriors (where former St. John's star Chris Mullin was General Manager). An interview with Draft Express highlights some of the skills he claims... and that he and Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes have obviously made some peace in their relationship from their fight back in 2000. Barnes has trained with Hines, who has earned some acclaim for his ability.

StarIn related Big East news, Rutgers has found enough cause to fire their coach with cause (thereby avoiding some or much of the $1.8 million buyout); Adam Zagoria reports that he had lost the locker room. Mike Rosario is rumored to be thinking of transferring. Fran Fraschilla, former St. John's coach, is a rumored candidate, along with Mike Rice of Robert Morris. Steve Politi makes a great point, that the Scarlet Knights are jumping into the coaching search world after most of their desirable targets have already signed new contracts.

StarIona College, whose former coach Kevin Willard has moved on to the Seton Hall job, has hired Division II coach Tim Cluess of C.W. Post (more at the Daily News). Cluess is a St. John's grad and many fans on the message boards love his coaching ability as a tactician, and he has won huge numbers of games in high school and college. Former Fordham recruiter Jared Grasso will join him on the Iona bench. Grasso has built a name for himself by bringing in solid recruits to Fordham despite a 3-win season and a 2-win season.

StarSt. Francis College - the little school in Brooklyn Heights that, despite living a mile away, I could never exactly find - is also looking for a coach, now that head man Brian Nash has resigned.